As we all know – solar panels could save the planet. And they are already starting to make a real impact – more than 10% of all the renwable energy in the EU is today provided by solar. And the growth continues.

Meanwhile, scientists are working hard to improve the efficiency of solar cells. One of them is Dr. Per-Anders Hansen at the University of Oslo Centre for Materials Science and Nanotechnology. He has a difficult challenge: Energy from the sun is lost because the wavelength of the sunlight does not perfectly match the properties of the solar cells. So what can you do? “Not much” you might think, “you cant’t change the sunlight:” But Per Anders can. With nanotechnology.

“I am working on new materials for solar cells, which can improve the efficiency of existing silicon technology. In short, this involves developing materials that change the wavelength of the sunlight and adapts it to the solar cell. In this way, the solar cell can become substantially more efficient without changing anything in the cell itself.”

Per-Anders Hansen at the Centre for Materials Science and Nanotechnology at the University of Oslo is making solar cells more efficient

Watch the talk from Cutting Edge 2015 below.